Surface smoothing of rough amorphous films by irradiation-induced viscous flow

S. G. Mayr, R. S. Averback

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Surface roughening and smoothing reactions on vapor codeposited glassy Zr65Al7.5Cu27.5 films by 1.8 MeV Kr+ ion beam irradiation is investigated. Irradiation causes significant smoothing of initially rough surfaces, and nearly atomically smooth films can be achieved. Smooth surfaces roughen at high doses and long wavelengths. By a Fourier analysis, radiation-induced viscous flow is identified as the dominant surface relaxation mechanism. Two noise terms are identified, which operate on different length scales: One is due to sputtering and the other to thermal spikes. The irradiation-induced viscosity is compared with radiation-enhanced diffusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 22 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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